Bishop’s consecration has link to the county

The new Bishop of Newcastle was presented with a symbolic staff and ring, which were specially made in Northumberland, as part of an important ceremony in York.

By James Willoughby
Saturday, 5th December 2015, 6:30 am
Bishop Christine Hardman at her consecration ceremony in York Minster.
Bishop Christine Hardman at her consecration ceremony in York Minster.

The Venerable Christine Hardman was consecrated to serve as 12th Bishop of Newcastle by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, during a service at York Minster on Monday.

Formerly Archdeacon of Lewisham and Greenwich in the Diocese of Southwark South London, she succeeds the Right Reverend Martin Wharton who retired in 2014.

Bishop Christine was presented with a pastoral staff (the traditional bishop’s crozier symbolising a shepherd’s care for a flock), which was made by Neville Straker, of Amble, from a wooden shank, topped with a Northumbrian ram’s horn. It was entrusted initially to Bishop Martin at the service for his retirement in 2014, before being passed on to his successor.

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The staff and ring, which were made in Northumberland.

Meanwhile, her bishop’s ring (worn on the third finger of the right hand) was designed and made by Alan Harrison, of Kirkharle Courtyard.

For her pectoral cross (worn by bishops on a chain around the neck), she wore the cross presented to her on her licensing as a Deaconess in 1984.

She was presented to the Archbishop by the Bishop of Southwark, the Right Reverend Christopher Chessun, and the Assistant Bishop of Newcastle, the Right Reverend Frank White.

Bishop Christine will be welcomed to the Diocese of Newcastle at a Service of Inauguration at the Cathedral Church of St Nicholas, Newcastle, beginning at 11am on Saturday, December 12.